Niels Erik From: Danish silversmith

PLEASE NOTE: Even though this is an old post, I update it every time I get a new piece of Niels Erik From jewellery for my shop. So if you are interested in his wonderful jewellery, do bookmark this page!

I have a real soft spot for the work of Niels Erik From, the Danish jeweller (1908—1982). He is considered one of the greats of Danish silver design, and his pieces are very collectable. I am lucky to have some of his jewellery for sale in my Etsy shop at the moment. It’s always a great day when I get my hands on some of his beauties!

(As this blog post was getting rather unwieldy, I have moved all the NE From items I have sold to a new blog post, which can be found here.)

NE From chrysoprase necklace with 1977 London import mark. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase necklace with 1977 London import mark. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase necklace with 1977 London import mark. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase necklace with 1977 London import mark. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase necklace with 1977 London import mark. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

Rare 1967 NE From amethyst modernist necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Another view of my rare 1967 NE From amethyst modernist necklace. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver square link bracelet. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

Another view of the NE From sterling silver square link bracelet. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From plain sterling silver band. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From rhodochrosite ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase and sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From chrysoprase and sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From sodalite and sterling silver modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist bangle. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist bangle. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From rose quartz and sterling silver ring, this one with a smaller head at 13 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on pohoto for details.

N E From amazonite and sterling silver modernist ring, another of the smaller-headed versions. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for detail.

NE From rose quartz ring, with a larger head at 16 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

Niels Eric From modernist rose quartz clip on earrings. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

Niels Erik From rose quartz modernist bracelet. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From Baltic amber pendant and chain. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

N E From vintage modernist amethyst ring.

N E From vintage modernist amethyst ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eight large links (the same size as the links in the necklace). Varies from the bracelet above as it has a square-sectioned bar toggle. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eleven small links. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal bracelet, this one with eleven small links. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

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NE From sterling silver calla lily / petal design brooch, a double sprig with 9 small petals. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From clip on earrings in sterling silver. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery: click on photo for details.

NE From sterling silver ring. For sale in my Etsy shop, Inglenookery. Click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz and sterling silver modernist ring, larger size head 16 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, smaller size head 13 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From Baltic amber and sterling silver modernist ring, larger size head 16 mm diameter. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist ring, in sterling silver. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

N E From rose quartz modernist ring, in sterling silver. The ring is UK size H 1/2, US size 4 1/2, European size 46 1/2 and has an internal diameter of 17 mm. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Another N E From rose quartz modernist ring, in sterling silver. The ring is UK size N, US size 7 1/4, European size 54 and has an internal diameter of 18.5 mm. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

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Vintage modernist tiger’s eye and sterling silver ring by N E From. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From rose quartz brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

NE From rose quartz and sterling silver bracelet. For sale in my shop: click on photo for details.

NE From rose quartz and sterling silver bracelet. For sale in my shop: click on photo for details.

NE From beauties soon to be in my shop. The ring is already listed: click on photo for details.

NE From beauties in my shop: see the individual photos above for details. (Update: the pendant and ring have now sold. Sorry!)

Despite the high regard in which his work is held, I haven’t been able to find out too much about Mr From. He first started working as a silversmith in 1931, and he registered his silversmithy in Nakskov, in south Denmark, in 1944. His earlier pieces developed out of the organic Skønvirke style, a Scandinavian development of the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements. From designed these early pieces himself, and they are characterised by floral and foliage motifs, as well as other inspirations from nature, such as fish.

NE From rose quartz necklace, bracelet and earrings parure. Private collection.

NE From rose quartz necklace, bracelet and earrings parure. Private collection.

Niels Erik From sterling silver and amber brooch from the 19060s with a wonderful fish design. For sale at CuriousLouis at Etsy. (click on photo for details).

Niels Erik From sterling silver and amber brooch from the 1960s with a wonderful fish design.

From the 1950s onwards most of From’s pieces were designed by other designers, and have a markedly different look—out went the detailed, romantic designs from nature, and in came modernist, clean lines with abstract and geometric shapes. Occasionally the modern designs took nature as their inspiration, with abstract leaf and blossom shapes, but generally they followed the modern trend of the 1950s for sparse, minimalist design. But ever the canny businessman, From continued manufacturing some of the popular older Skønvirke style jewellery alongside the modernist pieces.

In 1960 From’s son-in-law Hilmer Jensen joined the company, and he took over following From’s death in 1982. However, the company failed to flourish and it closed in 1990.

I used to keep the pieces of his that I have sold listed here, but the page was getting too unwieldy. I have moved all my N E From sold pieces to a new page, here.

Niels Erik From amethyst and silver modernist bracelet, from the 1960s/1970s, for sale at Vintage Jewels.

Niels Erik From amethyst and silver modernist bracelet, from the 1960s/1970s, sold at Vintage Jewels.

Niles Erik From amethyst and silver modernist ring.

Niels Erik From amethyst and silver modernist ring.

A more detailed exploration of one of From’s designs can be found here, with more to come as I find time to write them!

The maker’s marks on From’s pieces varied over the years. On the earliest pieces in the Skønvirke style, the maker’s mark is ‘FROM 830.S’, with the 830 referring to the silver content of 830 parts per 1000.

'FROM 830.S' on a silver cufflink by Niels Erik From in the Skønvirke style.

‘FROM 830.S’ on a silver cufflink by Niels Erik From in the Skønvirke style.

An intermediate mark used in the 1940s and 1950s, on the earlier Skønvirke style jewellery, reading ‘FROM 925S’ in capitals:

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‘FROM 925S’ mark on one of the earlier Skønvirke style rings. The 925 refers to the silver content of 925 parts per 1000, ie sterling silver.

An intermediate mark used in the 1950s and 1960s, on the earlier Skønvirke style jewellery, reading ”N.E. From’ in flowing handwriting-like script; ‘925S STERLING DANMARK’ in capitals:

'N E From' in flowing handwriting-like script; '925S DANMARK' in capitals. Photo by Kitty's Antique Jewelry.

‘N.E. From’ in flowing handwriting-like script; ‘925S STERLING DANMARK’ in capitals. Note the Danish spelling of ‘DANMARK’ rather than the Anglicised ‘DENMARK’, suggesting this was for the domestic or Scandinavian market. For sale at Kitty’s Antique Jewelry.

while the same style is also used on a modernist ring from the 60s:

Modernist N E From amber ring I sold in my shop, with the same style of mark. Danmark spelling again. (NOW SOLD).

Modernist N E From amber ring I sold in my shop, with the same style of mark: Danmark spelling again. (NOW SOLD).

A different mark used from the 1950s onwards was ‘STERLING DENMARK N.E. FROM 925 S’. This mark occurs on both the modernist pieces and on the pieces in the earlier Skønvirke style that From continued to produce as they were so popular:

The maker's mark on the back of the clip on earrings in my Etsy shop, reading 'STERLING DENMARK N.E. FROM 925 S'. The 925 refers to the silver content of 925 parts per 1000, ie sterling silver.

The maker’s mark on the back of the modernist clip on earrings in my Etsy shop, reading ‘STERLING DENMARK N.E. FROM 925 S’. (NOW SOLD).

Mark ‘FROM 925 S.’ used in the 1960s and 1970s: il_570xN.757770170_cwllMark used in the 1970s: ‘N.E. FROM STERLING 925S. DANMARK’:

Mark on a brooch dating from the 1970s: 'N.E. FROM STERLING 925S. DANMARK'

Mark on a brooch dating from the 1970s: ‘N.E. FROM STERLING 925S. DANMARK’

8 thoughts on “Niels Erik From: Danish silversmith

  1. My grandmother used to wear this silver, round ring with a blue “marble” every day and today I inherited it from my mother. I Googled the back and found your website! Very interesting read. It was hard to find any information about the designer. The back of my ring reads, “STERLING DENMARK N.E.FROM 925 S”

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    Wow, you had a funky grandma! So happy my little page has been of some use. He’s a great designer and so collectable, which is why I’m always so surprised that so little has been written about him (in English, at least – there may be tomes in Danish on him, for all I know!).

    Glad to hear the NE From love is intergenerational in your family – such a great story! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

  3. Thank you for this very informative page about N.E.From.
    I found one wonderful ring from him on a flea-market in Basel (Swiss) last year and weare it almost every day. The ring has a big Cristall eye in the middle, surrounded with an other Silvercircle in ca. 3mm distance. Beutiful.
    Marked with:
    FROM
    925S
    Now after reading your letters I know a littlebit more over him.
    Thank`s again
    Tamo

    • Hi Tamo,

      Glad it was some use! Your ring sounds like a real beauty: I think I know the design and I am very jealous! I hope your future visits to the flea market are just as successful, and that you continue to get such great pleasure from your little From treasure.

      All the best!

    • Hi larkin

      From what I can make out, the ‘FROM 925S’ mark was in use over quite a long period, so it’s not always that useful for dating a piece. It is used on some pieces that are stylistically of the 60s and 70s, for sure, so it could be that your wedding band also dates from that period. But as plain bands are just that – plain – and so generally it’s hard to tell from their style when they date from, as the style changes so little over the decades (D section or flat section, thick edge or thin edge, width of band – that sort of thing). If it was decorated it might be a little easier to hazard a guess, but it’s not. So short answer: I don’t know and even if I were to see a pic of it I still think I wouldn’t know! Sorry! Is it gold, by the way?

  4. Thank you for the info! I have a brooch passed onto me by my lovely mother in law, it’s identical to the Amber one you show from the 60s with whimsical fish and stars. Signed “Sterling Denmark N.E. From 925S”. Was curious about the designer and found this blog.

    • You’re welcome Julie – glad it was of some use. Interestingly enough I have also seen that fish and starfish design (or something very similar) on amber jewellery by Louis Vausch, and some slightly less similar by Lauritz Jensen, but I’m not sure who the originator was (if indeed any of these!) But it really doesn’t matter – they are all such lovely things.

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